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Birchbox Curated Box #1 Review + Coupon – August 2019

Birchbox Curated 1 August 2019 beauty box subscription rwview

Every month, Birchbox lets subscribers pick between a curated box (all samples revealed) or a single sample choice with the rest of the items arriving as a surprise. This review is of the “Test the Waters” curated box.

FYI – sign up to get email alerts for our Birchbox Spoilers to learn about Birchbox Sample Choice and Curated box options each month!

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

About this Curated Beauty Box

The Subscription Box: Birchbox

The Cost: $15.00 a month + free shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.

Check our Birchbox Coupon List to get the most up-to-date coupon!

The Products: Beauty and lifestyle samples selected by the Birchbox team.

Ships to: US, France, Spain, and the UK

Birchbox August 2019 ‘Test the Waters’ Curated Box #1 Review


There are two accompanying sheets in this month’s Birchbox. One has a throwback “cootie-catcher” on the front as a fun summertime game, while the back lists out the five items included. The second sheet is a coupon code to get 100 extra points ($10) when you spend $50+ in the shop. The flipside of the coupon explains their 10% back rewards for in-shop purchases.


too cool for school Coconut Oil Serum Eye Patch, 1 pair – Retail Value $6.00

I am currently writing this after driving through the night on a little mini-vacation and IT SHOWS. My skin looks tired, dehydrated, and very dull from 11 hours in the car and a lack of sleep. When we finally unpacked, these were the first things out of my bag! These coconut oil enriched pads gave my skin an instant hydration boost and totally made me look more awake and less rundown. Thank is a win in my book!


Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Water, 0.16 fl oz – Estimated Value $1.31 (Buy a full-size 3.9 oz for $32.00)

I always like items from this brand, and the thought of a weightless spray-on primer was instantly intriguing to me. I always start my morning with a hydrating mist, so I am a big fan of light spritz formulas. I love this one! Even on bare skin it gives a dewy finish and if you choose to use a BB cream or foundation on top you should notice a little boost in makeup longevity. I think I might add a tiny bit of loose powder highlighter to this spritzer and see if I can make this an extra dewy primer, perfect for summer.


R+Co HIGH DIVE Moisture + Shine Crème, 0.5 fl oz – Estimated Value $2.90 (Buy 5 oz for $29.00)

If you read my reviews at all, you know I am already in love with this brand. It gives my hair some instant polish with very little work on my part. I like to use this on dry hair on days where my hair is looking extra frizzy or I am having flyaway issues. Simply touseling it through my strands gives them dimension and a smoother finish, without looking too “done.” The smell is also amazing, like a sexy indie perfume.


Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips, 0.1 fl oz – Estimated Value $3.30 (Buy a full-size 0.5 oz for $16.50)

The first thing worth mentioning about this product is that it has one ingredient, which is lanolin. If you are vegan, you will want to avoid this, as lanolin comes from wool, and is naturally secreted to give a sheeps fibers a natural level of waterproofing. Lanolin is one of the most important things I use to protect my lips in the winter when they are chapped beyond repair. Though some people find this formula to be unscented, I can always sniff out a lanolin product. It has a very distinctive scent! You can use this on lips as well as on chapped skin, making it a great multiuse product for suffering skin.


IBY Beauty Eyeshadow in ‘Splish, Splash’, 0.05 g – Estimated Value $1.67 (Buy the full palette for $20.00)

I thought this item was a blush, but it is actually a single eyeshadow from a palette I received in my most recent Vegan Cuts Makeup box. I wasn’t crazy about the colors in the palette, but I love this, especially since I tried it as a blush before I realized it was eyeshadow. When used lightly as a blush, it honestly reminds me a little of NARS Orgasm, but much more shimmering. I also quite liked it on my eyelids, but for me, this is a blush mini.

Super heavily swatched above! Goes on light as a feather with a blush brush though.

Verdict: This Birchbox had some really fun stuff inside. I actually enjoyed each sample this time! My main issue comes from the overall value, which is really just not great. I estimated around $15.18 worth of value and since the box itself costs $15, that is just low compared to many boxes from this subscription in the past. I am actually surprised it was so low. I think this box would have really benefitted from one full-size (non-mask) item to feel complete and add a significant value boost.

To Wrap Up: 

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? If you subscribe to Birchbox now, check the image on the sign-up page. The box design pictured is the first month you’ll receive. You can’t pick the curated box as your first box, but you’ll be able to pick it every month moving forward.

Check our Birchbox Coupon List to get the most up-to-date coupon!

Value Breakdown: At $15.00 for this box, you are approximately paying $3.00 for each product. 

Check out all of our Birchbox reviews and our favorite beauty boxes!

Keep track of your subscriptions by adding this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of this curated Birchbox


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Written by Megan


I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Birchbox Reviews, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: birchbox | 23 comments

Comments (23)

  1. This is the box I chose because I knew I’d use everything in it. I knew the blush was an eyeshadow, but that’s what I wanted. I always put a bit of blush on my lids in the summer anyway because it makes my blue eyes bright and really makes them pop! I am upset about the value, though. It wouldn’t have hurt them to add a little something else. But I really love everything they sent. The eyeshadow is just gorgeous.

  2. Isn’t that a repeat box from a couple of years ago?

  3. Why was my comment filtered out (yet again?) Is there something in the system that filters them out, or does someone have to personally read and approve every post I make?

    • See, this one posted immediately, but my one from a few hours ago has yet to show up.

      • Melissa, the comments post. Just give it a little time

      • Thank you, Kathy. Sometimes it takes almost a day, though, which seems odd.

  4. One of the boxes this month included a full size Lipstick Queen lipstick, which sells for $24 all by itself, so if you want to get the highest value for what you pay, which is what some of the comments seem to be saying, I guess you need to figure out which box has the most expensive products in it. I guess some people want the most RV for their money, while others might just want to pick products they are interested in trying, regardless of value.

    On another note, obviously I recognize why lanolin is not vegan, but I just want to say that the sheep *need* to have their wool sheared, usually on an annual basis, so they are not being shorn just to provide products for humans. So lanolin is not a product where we are taking something away from an animal that needs it. They need it, but they also need to get their wool taken off. We had a neighbor whose sheep evaded shearing for a few years and he eventually had so much wool that he got bogged down in a swamp and couldn’t get out because his fleece was so heavy. 🙁 Also, if the ewes have too much wool, their lambs can’t easily reach their udders in order to nurse.

    • I actually also reviewed that one with the full-size lipstick (review should be up sometime soon!) and I loved it. It had a lot more “calculatable” value than this one. I don’t know why there are sometimes such drastic value differences between certain boxes.

      Great callout on the lanolin! I am not vegan but I understand why some are. I feel a similar way about my chicken’s eggs. They lay them daily if I want them to or not, so I find nothing cruel about using them for food. 🙂

      • Yay! I can’t wait to read your review. I chose the Lipstick Queen box for my Ace account and box #2 for my other account. I already have on the LQ Valentine series lipsticks, so I am hoping that I get a different color. They are all gorgeous pinks, so I’ll be happy with whatever I get.

        You have chickens?! That’s great fun! I’ve always loved chickens, but can’t have any due to there being too many predators on our ranch, but I do have geese (they are larger and strong fighters, so they don’t get taken easily by predators). I did just get to pet sit for someone who had chickens, though, and it was fun. One let me pick her up, but the other one pecked me and ran away any time I got close. They were both my friends when I had meal worms to offer, though!

  5. Will not be renewing after my 12 month subscription runs out. Nuts to pay $15 on a value of $15 when you more than likely wont even use or like all the products they send each month. EASY cancel, thanks BB for making it so easy to spend my $$$$ elsewhere.

  6. I contacted customer service. They are no longer honoring the six items for $15 a month membership. They said that they’re from now on going by the value that they feel is fair instead. They also said this is the first price increase they’ve had ever so it’s justified.

    I said goodbye birchbox

  7. I thought boxes were supposed to be 6 items with the price increase. What happened to that?

  8. Wow, $15.18? That’s just sad. I really loved Birchbox, but man they are just tanking. I hope they can turn it around somehow 🙁

  9. Wow, so that eyeshadow really was one and not a blush. I saw it listed as such on the birchbox website but thought it must be a mistake given the color. It really is pretty swatched though.

  10. Wasn’t the whole point of raising the fee from $10.00 monthly to $15.00 monthly, to make the contents of the box more luxurious and with more value? The value to this particular month is really low.

  11. I didn’t even get an email telling me customization was open 🙁

    Being able to pick my curated box is the only way I seem to be able to get any value as that way I at least know I’ll be getting products I want and will use. However, now I have to have the personalized box. Ho hum, guess I’ll be getting an Eyeko eyeliner, probably something Manna Kadar, and there’s bound to be a mascara in there too, ha ha!

    Pretty disappointed with the “new look” Birchbox. Not worth the 50% price hike, and shipping hasn’t improved either.

  12. this is why I can’t go back to birchbox…nothing new, or great products..

  13. I joined in June with Liz’s email offer for $30 in credit in the Birchbox shop with a three month sub, so telling myself I’ve effectively been paying $5 a month I haven’t been too crushed by the terrible values. But I’m glad that August will be my last month. I see no improvements with their price hike and I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw their message recently about how duplicate samples are intentional. Birchbox was my favorite years ago, but they just aren’t trying anymore.

  14. I contemplated getting this box for those eye gels, but the overall value of the box looked very low. I ended up selecting the watermelon face mask and crossing my fingers that the rest of the box is better.

  15. This was the box I chose, primarily for the eye patches since I’ve never used any with oil before. That’s a bit of a bummer the IBY product is an eyeshadow and not a blush. I’ll probably still swatch it though to see how it could look as a blush. The lip balm and leave in conditioner are nice too, but I’ll gift the primer since I like more conventional (spread on my face) primers. 🙂 I really like the box too! I was hoping I’d get the palm tree box, so I lucked out that it came with the box I wanted most. yay

    • To be fair, Birchbox said it was an eye shadow specifically from the Poolside palette. Not sure why MSA reported it as a blush.

      I commented on the choose-your-box post, but I guess no one saw it, cause the post itself still says it’s a blush! XD

      • I think I did see your post! I do recall someone commenting that it was an eyeshadow and not a blush, but it still would have been nice (at least for me) if it was a blush instead. 🙂 Despite knowing it was an eyeshadow I decided to still choose this box anyways. 🙂

      • I don’t wear blush, so I prefer it as an eye shadow! 😉 (I got the same sample from Ipsy.)

        I hope you find a way to make it work for you!

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